Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Birdie Bread Mini-Muffins

Posted in Birds, Chloe, Chop, Kacey, Macaw, Nutrition, Simba, Training, Uncategorized, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by angelsofflight

The biggest enjoyment my flock gets in the morning is not me saying “good morning”, or the kisses they get, nor the “did everyone sleep well” speech.  It’s their undying love of breakfast!  A mix of strawberry yogurt, cut up fruit, 2 teaspoons of the famous “CHOP” and (drum roll please…)…Birdie Bread Mini-Muffins.  My flock goes absolutely nuts over these things.  Constantine tends to have a couple with his tea in the a.m. as well…when the birds are in a sharing mood.  The recipe is really easy and I promised a few people I would post it.

I personally use all organic ingredients because that is just my preference for my birds, but you can generally find all this at your local grocery store.  This recipe is great for making into a loaf as well.  I like the mini-muffin pan because it is easier for me to serve it up to the flock.  One mini-muffin in each bowl is a perfect size for everyone all the way around.  A small side note…I never cook with Teflon pots or pans when cooking for my parrots.  I have separate cookware for them consisting of a couple of pots, a pan a baking sheet and my mini-muffin pan.

The ingredients are as follows:

2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 cup Rolled Oats
4 jars of baby food (I use 2 jars of sweet potatoes and 2 jars of carrots)
3/4 cup mashed Bananas
1/4 cup Peanut Butter (Smuckers Organic is the best!)
1/4 cup Parmesan/Romano grated cheese
2/3 cup grated Carrots
1/2 cup Broccoli Florets

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Stir together muffin mix, oats and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.  Put baby food, broccoli, mashed bananas and peanut butter in a blender and blend briefly (just until blended).  Add carrots and cheese to dry mix and mix until the carrots and cheese are lightly coated with the dry mix.  Add wet mix to the dry mix and fold together lightly with a wooden spoon JUST until mixed…Don’t over mix!

In a greased mini-muffin pan (I like to use the organic baking spray),  fill each muffin cup with a tablespoon of muffin mixture.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Pop them out of the pan and cool on baking racks.

These are great because you can freeze them too and just take out what you need for the next day.  Pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them up and your good to go.  Vary the recipe too if you like!  You can use mixed frozen veggies instead of the carrots and broccoli.  Instead of the baby food, try some canned pumpkin or mashed sweet potatoes or squash.  Mix and match with your birds favorite foods.  They are even a great gift to a fellow avian friend when you go to visit.

In the end, your flock will love you more than they do already…I know mine do!  Bon appetite!

Lift…A Review By Patricia Sund

Posted in Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 by angelsofflight

Lift is the new memoir by one of the Avian community’s most respected icons, Rebecca K. O’Connor.  Patricia Sund read the book and was so enthralled that she had to do a review on it.  Here it is, enjoy as you get a little taste of Rebecca’s world of raw reality unfolding and a writing style of Patricia Sund that you will never forget…

Disclaimer: I “know” Rebecca. I’ve never met her through traditional means, only through the virtual world of the internet. But we’ve emailed each other about this and that and exchange links to our blogs and often comment on each other’s posts. However, I hope to have dinner with her some day, preferably sushi. And when we do meet, I intend to bring her a little something for Anakin, a bottle of Patron Tequila, a bag of limes, some kosher salt and the biggest bottle of Excedrin I can find.

Photo Courtesy of R. O'Connor

I learned a lot reading the memoir “Lift,” by Rebecca K. O’Connor. The first thing I learned is that Rebecca is a liar. Yup. Major liar. It’s not just a “memoir” because it’s not that simple.

Okay, okay, it’s a memoir, but it delivers much,much more than that. If you open the book expecting it to read like an autobiography you will be mistaken. Nor does it really read like a typical memoir, highlighting only the high points of one’s life and excluding the crappy parts. Because Rebecca delivers more crappy parts in her life than you should reasonably expect. You aren’t going to get a glossy, sanitized version of Rebecca’s extraordinary life. Rebecca offers up the parts that were painful, pivotal, meaningful and unforgettable. Some of the passages made me wince. I see three stories here:

First is the story of Rebecca transforming herself into a Falconer through hard work, determination and many pre-dawn mornings. Despite the fact that it seems most Falconers are male and some clearly had an issue with her possessing ovaries, Rebecca persisted. She got a sponsor, a red-tailed hawk and got through two years of apprenticeship, finally ending up hunting with her Peregrine Falcon, Anakin.

Photo courtesy of R. O'Connor

The second is the back story: These are the interjected glimpses of her life as a little girl, living a fractured existence within her extended family. She lived with her parents, then just her Father and spent many years with her Grandparents.  She was moved around so much I kind of lost track. All I could think was, “Good God!”  I kept trying to visualize how I  would have done under those circumstances. Throughout these passages, you can feel the raw, piercing  honesty in the descriptions of her upbringing.

I have to hand it to her. It took a lot of guts and she must have had to conjure up a ton of courage to write the details of her life with such transparency. I mean, my life wasn’t exactly a bed of roses, but this was the life that made Rebecca triumph in a world that has appears to have a tendency to dismiss women. If you know me. you know that this is something that pisses me off to no end. Naturally, it was expected that Rebecca had me completely enthralled when she wrote, “As far a I can see, this is the way of the world. Predator or prey. You choose.”

In Lift, Rebecca writes about the choices she made along the way. Some choices, she was happy with. Others were choices she had to make that were far more undesirable and made out of the necessity of survival.

One moment that stood out was when Rebecca writes about her relationship with a fellow falconer and shared details of about how she bent her life, her habits and held her tongue to keep the relationship intact. While I was reading this, I was thinking that if it were me, I would have told him to pack up his video camera, toss it into his gold Tacoma and drive far, far away.

I’ve handled a few raptors and I cannot explain the feeling of the weight of a hawk or a vulture on your glove. I came totally unglued. It made me swoon. So I understand to a degree how Rebecca feels about them.

Raptors don’t love you. If you’re lucky, and you are a very skilled handler and trainer, you can get them to trust you, respect you and accept you as a partner . What I didn’t know very much about was training a falcon to hunt.

Photo courtesy of Natural Encounters, Inc.

This is the third story in Rebecca’s remarkable book. Falconry is a tricky business and not for the meek. Nature is tough, dirty and bloodthirsty. Rebecca isn’t shy about describing that either. But herein lies the difference between hunting with a falcon and any other form of death by design. On my first trip to Madrid, I had the opportunity to go to a bullfight. I sobbed. But I understood that Spain’s love affair with this spectacle is about the dance of the bullfighter. The bull is coincidental. There is no sport or art in the actual kill. I found it without soul. Without meaning. Without purpose. Personally, I found it to be a bloody circus. I can say that because I saw it first hand and have no intention of returning. What I didn’t like was that it was like watching a movie about the sinking of the Titanic. Nobody ever has to ask how it ends.

From what I’ve been able to gather, falconry is different. Falconry is teamwork, training, and skill. The one thing to remember is that falcons are built to behave this way; they need to eat and they would hunt on their own anyway. The falconer is merely the assistant, arranging the environment for the falcon to behave naturally, but adding the falconer into the equation to participate in the hunt as a partner. But Nature has its ways and Rebecca’s falcon, Anakin doesn’t always land his prey. The quarry he is after always has a shot at survival. It’s fair. It’s real. It’s how nature works.

Photo courtesy of R. O'Connor

In a bullfight, the bull doesn’t stand a chance.

I haven’t had much experience with raptors despite my admiration for them. Rebecca’s description of how she took young Anakin on and what they both learned in the process will leave you thinking about your relationships with your animals, the people in your life, and finally about life itself.

This third story is fascinating. Rebecca has woven a pretty dandy “Introduction to Falconry” manual within the pages of “Lift” as well. She describes falconry equipment, training techniques, housing, care, and even a recipe for preparing a duck she and Anakin hunted and later shared. There are terms I was unfamiliar with, and I would have liked a glossary in the back of the book, but Rebecca has thoughtfully provided one right here at her Falconry Blog, “Operation Delta Duck” to help you with those terms. Lift is a busy book with many stories neatly overlapping into one another. It’s like a Chef’s tasting menu and it also includes a bit on the history of falconry and the endangerment of the peregrine falcon.

Rebecca has a way with words that can encapsulate a truth everyone already knows. But she phrases it in such a way that it jumps off the page and rings in your ears:

“It’s dangerous to be bound to something that can break your heart.”

Perhaps what I learned from most from this book was how true that is. And perhaps that is one of the greatest lessons Nature has to teach us.

Photo courtesy of R. OConnor

“Lift” is gritty, well crafted, and loaded with bits of falconry lore I found totally engrossing. Rebecca’s story will make you cringe, squirm and leave you wanting to applaud her for her courage and nerve. It’s an absolutely wonderful read. Lift “stoops” to conquer.

You can find Rebecca K. O’Connor’s book, “Lift” here at Amazon Books: “Lift” by Rebecca K. O’Connor

A Conviction Of The Heart

Posted in Chloe, Kacey, Macaw, Moluccan Cockatoo, Rescue & Rehabilitation, Training, Uncategorized, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2010 by angelsofflight

Kacey - My Inspiration

When people ask me the question, “What made you start Angels Of Flight?”; I tell them a story of a 6 year old girl who was at The Bronx Zoo in New York in the summer of 1976.  The story starts out as a normal family outing that went very wrong in the afternoon.  While visiting the World Of Birds exhibit, an Umbrella Cockatoo (obviously wild caught since we’re talking 1976) was being exhibited by one of the handlers.  The 6 year old girl was allowed to pet the Cockatoo and for reasons unknown back then, the Cockatoo quickly turned and jumped out of the handlers grip and landed on the little girl.  While the Cockatoo was fluttering about on the little girl he began to bite her and attack her face while the handler and the little girls parents tried rapidly to get the bird off of her.  Scared and crying and bleeding, the little 6 year old girl was deathly afraid of birds from that day on.  Every time she saw a bird she would remember the horrid experience of her childhood and become so scared that she would turn and run in the other direction.  That memory stayed in the little girls mind until she was 37 years old…That little 6 year old girl was me.

Fast Forward…June 2007…

After landing a job at a major pet store I immediately made it very adamant that I was deathly afraid of birds and did not want to have anything to do with them, the Operations Manager thought it quite funny and put me in charge of the bird department…he wasn’t a nice guy…in fact he was quite sinister.  With that being the only job availability in a failing economy, I suppose I had to comply to his outrageous request and take care of these flying creatures that wanted to take my face off.  Everyday was one disaster after another.  I would go home absolutely stressed out. Until one day I made up my mind to try and get over my fears.

Kacey playing with her "Peek-A-Boo" blanket

While working in that glorious bird department and cleaning cages I became friendly with a Sun Conure.  He was beautifully colored and quite a little smarty pants.  every morning I would say hello, he would “wolf whistle” at me and I would thank him for the compliment.  He would come out of his cage and greet me in the morning and I would proceed to clean his cage and give him fresh water and food.  When it was time to go back in his cage I had to get one of the other managers to do it because I was afraid to touch him (again…that damn Cockatoo memory).  One day when it was time to go back in his cage, he lifted his foot at me…cautiously I lifted my finger to him and he stepped up and while shaking like a leaf, I gently put him back in his cage.  I was so excited that I ran out around the store to tell everyone (I must have looked like a complete idiot!).  I was so proud of myself.  I started reading up on Sun Conures and what their true feeding requirements were.  The pet store provided the basics and as I know now…not very admirable or adequate basics.  After all, if I was going to save the $699.99 to buy this little guy from the pet store, I would need to know the correct way to care for him.

Fast Forward…December 2007…

Kacey - Enjoying her life

I finally had the money saved to buy this little guy.  I had a 4 day weekend and on Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 I was going to make the little guy who I named “Skye” mine.  Everybody knew how much I wanted him, that I was diligently saving the money for him and the little relationship I developed with him.  As I went to get the keys to unlock his cage the General Manager, a very nice man unlike his managing counter part, asked me to sit down.  It seemed pretty serious as he had a strange look on his face.  He proceeded to tell me that “Skye” had been sold over the weekend.  As the tears welt up in me I began to cry, I lost my little Sun Conure to the first $699.99 that came through the door.  I taught him how to wave hello, I taught him to hang from my finger and to lay on his back in my hand…he was supposed to be mine!  Now he was not with me, he was with strangers and I would never know if he was ever taken care of the proper way.  The General Manger had tears in his eyes as well and gave me a big hug…although it was a nice gesture, it wouldn’t take away the pain.  He did tell me he had good news though.  He told me of the Operations Manager at another store who was a breeder of exotic birds and had rescued them from time to time.  She had a Sun Conure that needed a home and he had already spoken to her over the weekend about me adopting it.  Well, that wouldn’t be “Skye” but, this little one needed a good home.

I waited a few days and then called the bird lady to inquire about the Sun Conure…which I had already named.  Yup…you guessed it “Skye”.

Helping with the dishes

The conversation somehow went from me adopting a Sun Conure to… “I have a Blue and Gold Macaw that needs a home”.  Ummm…ok…now we’re back to that everlasting “Cockatoo Memory”.  Me being the passive, inexperienced bird person I was, I asked “Isn’t that somewhat bigger than a Sun Conure?”  Yeah well…alot bigger and alot scarier!  So, a week goes by and I decide to go look at the 2 birds…the Sun Conure…and this huge Macaw.  Needless to say, I never got to see the Sun Conure, I found myself driving home with a rescued Blue and Gold Macaw that hated me, didn’t trust anybody, tried to attack me at the aviary and a cage to put together that was bigger than my little rented bedroom.  What in the hell was I thinking??  I knew absolutely nothing about taking care of these birds let alone trying to gain the trust of one that wanted to rip my face off.  Back to the drawing board…time for more research.  Books, internet, friends, bird store owners, sanctuaries and the original bird lady were all helpful.  I took everyone’s opinions and made my own conclusion.  In one week I had this huge bird stepping up without trying to take my arm or my face off…

…Nine months later, Kacey was my best friend…

Kacey & Me

Once I was able to get Kacey out of the cage willfully, we would spend time together watching TV in my room,  hanging out on the porch together or playing “peek-a-boo” on the bed with the covers.  While watching TV together one day, I fell asleep and forgot to put her up in her cage.  An hour later, I woke up to a huge beak wrapped around my nose making kissy noises at me.  Oh my gosh! Please don’t take off my face!…The moment I said that she stopped, flipped herself over on her back, grabbing my hand with her foot and placing it ever so gently in her beak.  The baby noises and kissy noises continued.  I got bold enough and kissed her tummy…Kacey finally accepted me and knew in her heart that I would always love her.

Almost 3 years have passed now and although most of my posting is about Zazu and Chloe, my heart belongs to my one true first.  Kacey is my heart and soul…she came to me when I lost everything in my life including my confidence as a human being.

Angels Of Flight was started for Kacey.  Originally trying to help out the other lost flighted souls that were not wanted and that needed re-homing, AOF branched off and grew into a production company to showcase the wonderful world of exotic birds.  Still working with the rescue portion of the operation, AOF has re-homed 35 birds in the last year.  From the smallest finch to the Mollucan Cockatoo.

I am now over my fear of birds.  They are my life and everything I live for.  My relationships with humans may come and go, but one thing that remains constant in my life is Kacey, Chloe, Zazu and Simba.  They are “The Ambassadors” of Angels Of Flight…but Kacey is the true heart and soul of why Angels Of Flight was started.  People always say it’s great that I rescued her…I correct them…Kacey rescued me.  Kacey has taught me that no matter how bad your life gets there’s always something good waiting around the corner for you.  If you hang in there long enough, life can be an amazing gift.  She is my conviction of the heart.

Avian Encounters – The Trilogy

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16, 2010 by angelsofflight

Lately alot of people have been asking about a third Avian Encounters.  Although I am very flattered that these videos have received such high recognition in the Avian community, I am a little overwhelmed at the idea of a “Lord Of The Birds” trilogy.  People have often asked me over the past few months, “…what gives you the ideas for creating videos of this caliber and content?”…my answer…”Pure passionate, creative impulse.”  I see more into pictures and video then the naked eye does.  Whether it’s images of people I know or strangers that want to get in on the action, I see the character, the love, the harmony and most of all the peace that they have achieved by having their parrots in their lives.  Now, when you set all of those emotions to music, you get an amazing conceptual visual feeling that the director is trying to portray.

For the people that really know me, they have figured out that I am a very emotional and complex person.  I fly by the seat of my pants at times and it all just seems to work out.  No matter what the tragedy, happiness or forthcoming, I usually grab the bull by the horns and then it’s time to rock and roll.  However, when it comes to my birds and presenting my feelings on screen I try to let the viewer see the video through my eyes and through my heart. Keeping things bottled up inside makes an explosive, creative outcome.  This is my release.  Instead of getting angry and upset at something, I channel my feelings and thoughts to a positive and Viola! …you get another Avian Encounters video…or a good friend gets a personal video made, or I create a project for a falconer in the UK.

Avian Encounters II – A Facebook Collaboration came to me when parts of my own life were up in the air and my feet were not steadily on the ground.  My living arrangements had changed, my personal relationships with friends,  family and work had changed.  After weeks of running in circles I said to myself, “…Christina…slow down, think, and come down from the clouds.”  Avian Encounters II was actually a turning point for me.  It gave me a concentration, the energy, and the focus I needed to (shall we say…) start my life over.  After the production was finished, everything started falling into place.  The job, the friends, the family and the personal self growth…everything got better in an enormous way.  Sometimes you just need an “Out”.  Something to set your sights on and something that will be a magnificent part of your life in the end.  Hence, this is why we have parrots isn’t it?  They are the inspiration that drives me everyday.  The jolt in my heart I feel every time Zazu takes a flight when called and lands gracefully in my hand is the sole inspiration to my work.  I remember the very first recall in the kitchen at my former home.  She was 16 weeks old and the clumsiest little Macaw you would ever meet.  Now I watch her as she soars around the house or outside in the backyard with only 3 more flight feathers to grow out.  She has turned into a beautiful Blue and Gold angel.  Kacey, Chloe, and Simba are my little problem children.  They also inspire my work with presenting the rescue portions of pictures and video.  Each one has their own story of tragedy, loss, and overcoming what seemed to be impossible.  They are the true heroes of my visual enterprise and my conceptual need to fill the community with their stories and what I know.

The third and final chapter to the Avian Encounters Series is in production.  The music is being picked out and Angels Of Flight Productions is now copyrighted and trademarked.  This will be the final chapter to a  year and a half project that has brought me controversy, happiness, pain, joy, tears, friendships, arguments, and love.  But I must say this…Avian Encounters has been a fantastic adventure in amateur film making for me.  My Visual Production Assistant, Lisa Granucci, is by far the best friend, confidant, and assistant through my visual blocks that sometimes occur during production.  For this, I thank her for putting up with me, and being honest with me when a transition just down right sucks…being from New York City as  well we just have a great understanding of each other.

All in all, my life is filled with wonder, amazement, joy and breathtaking scenarios on a daily basis.  These are the elements that inspire my work and drive me to 100’s of hours creating a video for the world to view.  I hope each one of you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoy making them.  When they are finished and processed, the first watch through is one of the most amazing feelings I get.  I cry, I laugh, I smile, and I sigh at the end of a job well done.  I hope to know one day if you could actually see and feel what I do when I watch the Avian Encounters Series…It’s a most breathtaking emotionally charged experience that lasts a lifetime.  These are the elements of my life that I embrace everyday.  So in closing, I would like to say to the fans of Angels Of Flight Productions, thanks for watching and stay tuned for Avian Encounters III – The Finale due out August 2010.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xc5778_avian-encounters-i_animals

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xc4ktr_avian-encounters-ii_animals

Harness That Bird!!!!

Posted in Birds, Education, Enrichment, Recall, Training, Uncategorized, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2010 by angelsofflight

Zazu...Unharnessed at the beach.

When it comes to harness training I have mixed feelings.  Some birds need it and some birds don’t.  If you are going to keep your birds fully flighted and train them for recall and free flight then the proper skills  need to be obtained, therefore removing the need for a harness.  However, there are those people that don’t train for such things but want to give their birds the opportunity to fly and that’s ok too.  Within the confines of a large aviary or in a well planned and thought out home catered towards your birds, training for flight can be very rewarding.  As far as the harness goes, some people use it for extra precaution when going to town or on vacation with their bird even though the bird is highly trained and a motivated flyer…this is acceptable as well.  However, if a harness is not used properly it is detrimental.  It can damage a birds crop, back, wings and possibly have fatal effects on your feathered companion.  For instance, it is heartbreaking and I cringe when I see a flighted bird on a harness, it is allowed to take off at full speed just to be pulled back by the person holding the other end and then hits the ground with an amazing “THUMP”.  Talk about damage!!!  Now you’ve #1…Ruined his self confidence about flying, #2…Choked the hell out of his crop and possibly damaged something and #3…possibly cracked his keel bone!!  Yeah!!  That’s Positive Reinforcement!!  For the seasoned harness users this could make you want to smack the person upside the head and wrap a dog collar around their neck attached to a leash and send them off the Empire State Building…but in a perfect society we can’t do that!

"Daphne" (Barb Saunders' D2) recalls on a harness

My friend Barb Saunders, author of BarbsBirdsandAviary, uses a harness on her birds when traveling on vacation and talk about a seasoned harness user…the woman knows EVERYTHING about using a harness (she taught me a few tricks when I used to use one with Zazu).  Her birds are trained for recall.  She is very cautious where she recalls her birds eliminating the startle flight as much as possible and just having fun.  In this case a harness is, in my opinion, a grand little accessory.  She is able to set her bird down and recall it in short flights off a railing, a rock, etc.  She doesn’t send her birds flying into the air just to retract them back.  The harness in this case is used properly without any damage to the bird and training has been obtained to make sure both Barb and her birds are safe. “Daphne”, Barbs’ Ducorps Cockatoo was trained at the early age of 3 months old to wear a harness.  This is an important factor.  While Barb has eliminated the use of harnessing, Daphne is a seasoned veteran when it comes to a harness and if need be will wear one without any fuss.  You can’t just slap on a harness and expect your feathered baby to enjoy wearing one!!  It is a patient process and one that needs to be introduced slowly.

Zazu wore a harness in the early stages of her training.

When I was initially training Zazu on her jump flights I admit I used a harness a couple of times.  This was in the early stages of her outdoor training away from her comfort zone and I didn’t want my young (baby) bird to get startled and fly off into a parking lot and get hit by a car…I’m sure you could understand that.  As the months went on, her confidence built as well as mine with different outings and socialization such as the beach, work, and outdoor restaurants.  Therefore I removed the harness after training her to fly down 25 feet out of an oak tree and off the roof of the house…just in case these issues ever came up.  Mind you, those were scary training sessions and SHOULD NOT be done without the help and guidance of a professional.  When going to work she would take off when I called her and fly from the register area to the aquatics department landing safely and securely in the palm of my hand…this is now a properly trained bird at 10 months old.  I have all the confidence in the world with her and I do not use a harness on her at all anymore…it’s my preference.  Her wing feathers are growing out nicely as well and training continues on a daily basis.  As she acquires more wing feathers, she acquires more height and more distance therefore increasing the training for recall.

Zazu...in flight during recall training at the beach.

In one of my seminars I did “Advanced Avian Education” I touched on the recall method and use of a harness.  Obviously there is always that one bad apple in the bushel so trying to convince this man that keeping his Ducorps Cockatoo fully flighted when she was just used as an accessory in his home to make it look more tropical was a bad idea…he found an invitation for an argument…and so my point began.  If you randomly let your bird fly with no recall training, food management, enrichment, positive reinforcement, and so on…you are headed for no where except disaster.  Trying to explain that to this man was a losing battle for me so I finished our argument by giving him my phone number and telling him to give me a call when his bird was up in a 25 foot tree and wouldn’t come down.  Funny thing is, I got a call from his wife 2 weeks later frantically telling me their bird was on the roof of their house and they couldn’t get her down.  They opted for me to teach them about harness training…hummm.

Barb harnesses her birds while on vacation.

So when it comes to wearing a harness…I am all for them providing they are used correctly, maintained in condition, used for the proper purpose, and the bird is trained to wear them (Yes…you need to train your bird to wear them or they think it’s another “scud missile” coming at them from afar!!!).  There are a variety of harnesses to choose from however, Barb and I choose the aviator harness which is available online or through your local pet supply store.  This is a fantastic little tool…use it wisely…PLEASE!!!!

Simone’s Great Adventure!!!!

Posted in Chloe, Macaw, Uncategorized, Zazu with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2009 by angelsofflight

Simone

Hi everyone!!!  Simone Giordano here…I’m a guest blogger today on Angels Of Flight!!!  Last weekend I had the opportunity to travel with my mom (Christina Giordano) to beautiful Hollywood, Florida.  We stayed in the home of Patricia Sund (Aunt “P” as I affectionately call her) with Parker, Pepper, Nyla, and Mattie (the dog).  Mommy said it was strictly a business trip but we had such a great time and mommy actually got to relax a little, start a journal and spend quality time doing the things she loves…like take of me!!!

My Spa Package

Upon our arrival on the fancy East coast of Florida we were greeted with a roar of enthusiasm from Aunt P and her clan.  We were given the ROYAL treatment and a gift basket full of all the essentials a great stay at Hotel Parrot Nation has to offer.  I even got a spa treatment during my stay there…now I smell like lavender and chamomile!  We relaxed the first day since we got in about 4:00pm and met all of Aunt P’s close friends (Les was my favorite…he gives lots of treats!!).

Aunt P's Slate Floor...Look real close...there's a fossil!!

We marveled at the unbelievable slate floor (you really have to see it in person) and all of the beautiful colors in the house…it was absolutely gorgeous and mommy got some great decorating ideas for our new place when we get to Utah!!

Our Gift basket had everything in it…there’s way to much to list but Aunt P really knows how to make you feel welcomed in her home.  The Hotel Parrot Nation is a definite keeper on my list if you are looking for that warm and fuzzy feeling!  They give treats all day long and then a jackpot treat for doing a good deed outside.  They have constant petting and kisses going on and it’s just a down right nice place to stay.

Dinner is a family setting at Hotel Parrot Nation

Mattie and I enjoyed the short ribs...they were delicious!!

Dinner time came quickly and it was absolutely delicious; consisting of short ribs, baked acorn squash, and pineapple cake for desert!!!  Mattie (the dog) and I joined mommy, Aunt P, Les and the Greys for dinner…it was a real family type setting.  Mattie and I got along great and I taught her how to clean up after the birds (Parker, Pepper and Nyla) for future situations.

The next day Aunt P had to fly to Haiti so we fed the Greys in the morning, went out for a walk and then mommy and Les went to breakfast down by the beach and then to the Farmer’s Market for some asparagus!  Mommy had such a good time she thought maybe we should move there instead of Utah!!  Huh???…Ok, Anyway…We relaxed most of Sunday afternoon until Aunt P got back to the “Hotel” and then it was time to feed the Greys again and make dinner!!

Parker graciously sharing his dinner with Mattie and I.

Parker, Pepper and Nyla had a smorgasbord of variety in their bowls consisting of rice, pasta, CHOP!, and beans (mommy is consistent on the CHOP! concept…it seems to work).  The Greys went straight to work and Parker conveniently flipped over his bowl for Mattie and I to get a little appetizer off the floor!  He’s a very thoughtful bird in sharing his food with us.

Aunt P making the delicious Roast Beef Salad!!

Aunt P headed to the kitchen and made a great roast beef salad for her, mommy and Les.  It looked awesome and from what Mattie told me…it tasted great too!!  (I just had my regular dinner because I got a little upset tummy from the night before).  There was champagne, homemade oatmeal cookies, and a lot of fun to be had that night!  We met another friend of Aunt P’s too…Nancy came up from downstairs to join in the festivities as well…”she’s a trip” …as mommy puts it.

Monday was a really special day for mommy…she got to spend the whole day with Aunt P shopping for birdie stuff!!!  They went to Chippy The Pirate and The Golden Cockatoo.  The Golden Cockatoo was an incredible place to shop mommy said (She will be doing a blog post on her trip there when I’m done typing on her computer).  Chippy The Pirate was fun too and she got a lot of toys for Kacey, Chloe and Zazu to tear up.

The Golden Cockatoo

Monday night brought much excitement and alot of fun!!  Mattie and I got fed a delicious dinner, mommy and Aunt P hung out and networked on their computers (Uncle Les called it “Dueling Computers”…he’s so funny!!).  Mattie and I hung out and played dress-up…Parker, Pepper and Nyla had a photo session with mommy (she’s obsessed with her camera)…and they got a shower on top of it!!  Aunt P and mommy laughed at the “shower coma” going on in the bath tub!!  We listened to all different kinds of music and we carried on until late night!

Parkers' Photoshoot!!

Me and Mattie playing dress-up!

Parker, Pepper and Nyla got a bath!!

"Hotel Parrot Nation" gets 2-paws up from me!!

Mommy and I left the beautiful East coast on Tuesday and headed back home to Naples, Florida thoroughly relaxed and invigorated.  We obviously came home with more than we left with but everyone was happy (including my feathered sisters) with the outcome of our adventure.

Chloe loved the presents!!

Kacey, Chloe and Zazu greeted us with about 3,000 decibels of macaw / cockatoo screams and screeching.  Dusty almost ran mommy over when she came through the door and Ginger…well…Ginger is just Ginger!!

I slept all the way home!!

As for me…I was thoroughly exhausted but I was so excited for mommy.  It was a trip she needed and one she finally enjoyed.  The “Hotel Parrot Nation” is definitely on our list to visit again.  Thank you to our fantastic “hostess with the mostest” Patricia Sund, all of her awesome friends, and my new friend Mattie (the dog)…

My Best Friend...Mattie (the dog)

I found a real friend in you and you ROCK!!! Stay tuned for more posts of me and mommy’s Great Adventure…there’s more to come!!!!